Joshua Chin 14:29

I’m starting to see a narrative of kind of little life lessons that eventually kind of shaped who you are today Kara. It’s little things that kind of happened along the way. And I think it’s documented incredibly well in the book that you wrote, Undaunted and I guess, you know, my, where I’m really curious about from just from a selfish point of view is I’m really new to business and working in general. So my business, and Chronos is just less, we’re less than four years old. And a lot of the lessons that we take away are often, obviously, so much clearer on hindsight. But at the moment, it might seem, it always seemed like, well, an incredibly daunting task, like a problem to fix. But in the back of my mind, I know that, like 10 years down the road a year down, I’m gonna look back at this as a lesson that shaped who I am today. What’s your advice for someone like me going through problems that might seem incredibly difficult and hard? Every single day? What’s the best mindset that I can have? Or what can I do?

Kara Goldin 15:48

Yeah, so I, you know, it’s interesting, I think, the world of entrepreneurship, I best like to visualize it this or visualize it in this way. So I think about it as a puzzle. And that somebody gave you a very large puzzle, and said, please go do this puzzle. On the table. It has, I think, 1000 pieces, something like that. And so you start to build out this puzzle. And then suddenly, you can’t figure out what the other pieces are, that go in. So maybe you take a break for a minute, then you come back, and somebody says, Oh, I’m actually going to take a handful of the pieces away. And so you can’t even have these pieces anymore. And you’re like, what, what, wait, you can’t do that I was I was getting back, I was getting traction, I was getting back to work. And they said, Well, you don’t need those anyway. So just keep building because you’re not going to be able to be successful in building this puzzle any anyway. But you don’t stop, you keep adding on to the puzzle and hoping that you do have all of the puzzle pieces. And then somebody somebody new comes in, and then they throw a bunch of new puzzle pieces down and they say, here’s some of the puzzle pieces that I think were taken away from you. But there’s a bunch of new ones too, it might actually belong to the puzzle over on the next table. But that’s okay, you’ll figure it out. And that that is the story of entrepreneurship, right? That you you sit there and look at the puzzle, and you try every single day and you keep going and you don’t stop, because complacency is ultimately what will end it for you. Right, your that will you cannot say, Well, I didn’t have all the puzzle pieces or write your you don’t turn into being a blamer of why you can go and accomplish it right? Instead, say, I’m going to keep going and I’m going to keep trying. And you know what, maybe the puzzle that you have actually gets divided right into two different pieces. Maybe like you have to be open to where it’s going. All you can do though, is do what you can do, and continue to learn and continue to make progress. And I think that along the way, what I’ve learned is that the persistence, yes. And and, you know, resilience, and and all of those things are important. But I think more than anything, it’s this curiosity, and this willingness to actually keep going when other people say you should really give up, you don’t have all the puzzle pieces. How are you going to do this? And you it’s not that you don’t listen to them? You hear them, but you just don’t absorb it, right? Because I think that that’s the difference between great entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs that give up, don’t make it however you want to view it is that they, they decide that this is a choice, right, that they’re making to just keep putting some kind of effort towards it. And as long as they continue to make progress, as long as their curiosity keeps coming up with what if we did it this way? What if we did it this way, no matter what happens along the way, that is the most critical thing that I see in entrepreneurs. And one other thing that I’ll say is that the best entrepreneurs know that they cannot do it on their own. They have to bring in a team. So just because you’ve got a great idea. I always say ideas or diamond doesn’t unless you actually have a team that could go and execute. Now, the best team games are not necessarily the most experienced, what is consistent in every single industry is that they all have curiosity, right? That they just keep going, and the more people that you can have that want to build a puzzle with you, that keep going. And when you see that you’ve got somebody on your team who’s saying, that’s impossible, we should stop, then that is the moment when you have to figure out, do they stay, and you convert them into being a puzzle doer? Or do they leave? Right? Because I think that that that kind of energy in in a startup in a, you know, newish company, in even frankly, in an older company is also what will kill it?

Joshua Chin 20:54

It sounds it’s starting to sound like that uncertainty doesn’t go away at any.

Kara Goldin 21:01

Yeah, it doesn’t. It doesn’t. And I think it’s just, and that’s the thing that I also learned just from, you know, working directly for or, you know, in the organization of other startups, including Ted Turner, Steve Jobs, Steve Case, is that you keep you keep adding to the puzzle, you keep finding ways to solve, solve the question, What can we do, because sometimes it’s not that you don’t have goals, goals are amazing to have. But as I always say, it’s best to leave the goals on a shelf, that is a little hard to reach, right? You see it. But it’s not like you can go and pull it down every single day and hold on to it. Instead, go and figure out what are those things? What are those steps that will help you to move it forward? A couple, a couple, you know, pillars in some way. And then tomorrow, what are the steps? What are the steps, and then look back and say, Well, I’ve actually made this much progress on it. And I’m that much closer to that goal. But don’t sit there and look at that goal every single day, because that is not what gets you to the goal that that goal will get you frustrated. Instead, look at the progress that you make along the way.

Joshua Chin 22:20

That’s such good advice. And I, you know, I am, I’m a firm believer, believer of the fact that who we are is largely shaped by who we surround ourselves with, and the people that we are fortunate enough to come across. So in the book, you mentioned, John McCain, he was an early influence on your life and your philosophy, in business and in life. Tell us about that story. And what were some other early influence influencers in your life?

Kara Goldin 23:01

Yeah, well, John McCain, he was when I started working for him, he was actually a representative. He was in Congress and in the state of Arizona, and I started working for him when I was in high school, and a little bit later than my toy job. And it was not very many hours a week initially when I was in high school, and then he actually ran for the other half of a congressional job, the Senate. And so I continued, I went to school in Arizona, and I continued to work, work in his office. And, you know, I remember when I actually got the job with him my last interview in high school for being able to have an internship with him. He interviewed everybody who came into the office, and he said, So tell me why you want to have this job. And I said, so my parents are Republicans, and I want to know whether or not I’m actually Republican, or if I’m only a Republican, because I’m born a Republican, and he started laughing. And he said, that is the most honest answer I’ve ever heard. And, of course, I’m, you know, just a kid, right? And I’m just saying whatever’s on my mind, but I got the job. And, you know, I remember seeing him in the hallway, and he would say to me, he said, so have you changed your mind yet? Has it? You know, how do you feel about it? Now, so many, you know, fond memories of of, you know, working in his office. And, you know, probably the most challenging one for for me personally, was when there was a federal law suggestion, I should say, that Martin Luther King Day be be recognized by every single state and the state of Arizona, including John actually voted to not recognize that it was one of the few states that voted to not recognize Martin Luther King Day. And I, one day was in the office. And I said, Mr. McCain, may I ask you a question? And he said, Sure. And I said, so why is it that you voted against actually recognizing John are recognizing Martin Luther King Day MLK Day? And he said, Well, Kara, you said someday, and you’ll learn this over time is that you have to agree to disagree on things. Obviously, he knew that I was disagreeing with him. And he said, and it doesn’t mean that the people are bad people, but they may think differently than you did. And I kept, I knew enough to know that I couldn’t argue with him at this point. But I have to say that it sat with me as something, it was like a mark on him in my mind thinking, you know, I don’t know. I mean, this is this is a little bit strange. So I went on with my life, right, I left university and obviously moved to New York and started my career. And I remember in not too much later, in 2012, he was on television, I think CNN, talking about something that he really regretted. And he talked about voting against Martin Luther King Day, and how that was such a massive mistake. This is 2012. I mean, it was, you know, so many years later. And I said that I remember just thinking, you know, that, that sometimes people will actually disagree with you, right? You like John said, You’ve got to agree to disagree with you. But the best thing is when they actually come around to their senses, and they realize that what they did wrong, and they own it, right, and that’s what John McCain was doing, he was owning that he was wrong. Should he have voted earlier to recognize it? 1,000%, but the fact that he actually owned that he made a major mistake. I thought, that is a good human.

Joshua Chin 27:20

That’s very cool. How, how do you start to find good influences in your life early on, or whatever? How do you? Is there a way to manufacture? You know, an environment like that?

Kara Goldin 27:37

It’s a good question. You know, I think just staying curious, and, and doing what is really interesting to you, I think, for me, to, uh, you know, I didn’t know that much about government, I obviously, in grade school was taking, you know, government classes, and I knew some people who worked for John McCain and sort of other representatives. But I think that the best way to learn is to kind of face your fears, right. And in some way, not that I was super fearful of it, but I was, I was interested in going in and kind of, you know, put me in the game, right, that I thought, I wonder if I can go and get a job to learn a little bit more. And I think when you have that hands on experience, even, you know, the hands on experience around margins in a toy store that I talked about earlier, it’s just, you know, those, it the dots eventually connect, right? You You eventually start to, to see how all of these different pieces that maybe you’ve been schooled in actually come together. And that was the thing for me. I mean, I think, you know, working in any kind of government role, I always suggest it to, to anybody, if you get an opportunity to do that, because it just starts to make a lot more sense to you. Right? No matter, you know, what you end up doing, and maybe you don’t do it long term. I just think it’s something that so many people can benefit from because you just really are able to kind of follow what’s going on. And I think that obviously, any type of you know, government is, you know, has has a major role in every single country and trying to really understand how that impacts you. Is just, it is incredible.

Joshua Chin 29:23

To stay curious. Always be on the lookout for new ideas, be open minded and agree to disagree. Kara, you’re a big reader. I know that now boring from the Tim Ferriss show. This is a question I really love. What is a one book that you’ve gifted the most? Aside from your own book, and why?

Kara Goldin 29:51

That I’ve gifted the most. I’m looking down to see if I can grab it right here. hear if you don’t mind. Sure, yeah. See? My pile is falling down. Do you know Guy Kawasaki? Mm hmm. Yeah. Wise Guy, have you read this book,

Joshua Chin 30:18

I have not the crepe book.

Kara Goldin 30:21

It’s in. I’ve gifted it multiple times. So Guy. Very interesting. Individual I’ve known Guy actually, for years. I can’t say super well, but he had started back in the 90s, kind of the first almost like a, you know, Y Combinator type of environment, where incubator Think Tank type of type of environment. And he had actually prior to that worked for Steve Jobs, he was one of the original, I think, five guys that worked there, but he has so many life lessons on, on really growth and, and, and just things that are important along the way. And anyway, I just think he’s an incredible person. So I’ve had him on my podcast a couple of times, actually. And he’s got his own podcast as well. But he’s just this very incredible, very real person that has had really great experiences to he actually worked for Apple twice, he was fired by Steve Jobs. And, and then Steve tried to hire him back, which is just a story in and of itself. And, you know, he’s just a really interesting guy. And, and just a lot of what he’s learned about not only diversity and being an underdog and figuring out what you really want, also figuring out, you’re only as old as you think you are. I think he started surfing at age 55 or so. Yeah, like he’s just and then he decided he wanted to, actually I knew I’ve known him for years. But I didn’t know this really great story that’s in there that he started surfing. And he became really passionate about it. And then he wanted to meet this incredible surfer that he, you know, kept thinking about and and then one day, he was in a coffee shop in LA. And the and he met him. And he and he said, Can we is there any way we can go surfing together? And they did. And so, you know, he talks about, you know, think about those, What’s your wish list? What do you want to do? You know, even if you think that it’s so far out there, right? And just go for it, have it on a little sheet of paper and figure out exactly what you want to do.

Joshua Chin 32:47

Now, I’m definitely gonna get the book. That’s a great

Kara Goldin 32:51

one fast read like mine. But he it’s actually we go back and forth. He’s he actually, he was funny, I asked him to pre read my book. And he’s kind of, you know, it was pretty scary to get a few people that I got to read my book, I shot high. And I figured I would hear back from a few of them that they wouldn’t actually put their name on my book that they enjoyed it. And Guy was one of them where he reached out to me, and this is a really funny story. And Guy said, he said, So I read your book. And I have a quick question. And he said, Why don’t you call me? And I thought, You know what, like, what’s he gonna say? Right? It was really scary. And he said, so why would any entrepreneur read your book? And I thought, well, that’s not a very nice, say, right? And he said, I mean, you had some incredible challenges along the way. And he said, why would they read your book? And I said, because I did it. Right. And I got out of those gnarly zones, right? Where, and I want people to know that being an entrepreneur is a choice. It’s not, you can go and make a lot more money and other jobs, and you can go and find, you know, find jobs that are going to pay you that, you know, maybe you don’t have the fears that you have as an entrepreneur and those adrenaline days and those setbacks and those doubts, but if you really set your mind to it, that you can actually go and build something and build something with a mission and purpose that helps lots of people like my product tent. And he said, Okay, I’m in and it was just I thought that was easy, but again, it’s, you know, you never know what people are going to say and He’s, he’s incredible. He’s actually interviewed me a couple of times for some fireside chats as well. He’s a he’s a great guy, so highly recommend that book and him

Joshua Chin 35:09

and also highly recommend reading Undaunted guys listening Undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters. You got some amazing, amazing names on the back of the book are right here. Sheryl Sandberg, Jamie Dimon, John Legend, Adam Grant. Big names and really easy read. And I think everyone should get a copy of this available on Amazon. Link will be in the show notes. Now. Kara, thank you so much for being on the show. If people are interested to connect with you, and perhaps ask you a couple of questions. Where should they go to?

Kara Goldin 35:46

I’m all over social media at Kara Goldin with an with an eye. And I would love to hear from you. And also the book is on Audible too. If that’s your choice, too. I read the book and, and through for the audible version. So it’s a it’s a lot of fun.

Joshua Chin 36:05

Very cool. Also available on Kindle. I got the Kindle version, the physical version. Yeah, it’s all good. And grab yourself a bottle of Hint, Hint water as well drinkhint.com is where you should go to. Kara, thank you so much for being on the show.

Kara Goldin 36:21

Thank you so much.

Outro 36:26

Thanks for listening to the eCommerce Profits Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get notified of future episodes.